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How Do I Calm My Worries?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Are there any specific duas or Surahs I can recite to help me with my constant state of anxiousness, depression and paranoia that I have been feeling due to a multitude of heavy things and it’s been weighing me down.I just need a way of easing my difficulties.

Answer: Assalam ‘alaykum. Jazakum Allah khayr for writing into us.

If life gets overwhelming and we find ourselves always worried, then it’s a good time to take stock of what is happening in our lives, looking to see whether things could be done better, and most importantly, assessing where our relationship with Allah is.

Reading the Signs

Everything in life has a language and it takes patient observation and reflection to understand the language of each thing or event. When the physical body starts to become run down and needs a break, it shows signs of fatigue in order that the person may stop and take a break so the body can recover. If it is ignored, the body keeps throwing up other signs, such as ailments, in order to be heard.

Similarly, the mind and the soul throw up symptoms of distress when something is amiss and needs fulfilling. When one has constant stress, anxiety, anguish, or a feeling of emptiness, it is because the mind/soul is yearning for something that it needs. Sometimes the need is to simplify or prioritise one’s lifestyle choices, or one needs fulfilling intellectually, or one needs to connect spiritually, or perhaps all of these. It is because of these feelings that we so often turn to temporary ‘worldly’ solutions, such as food, wealth, entertainment etc. to fill the void.

Relationship with Allah

Of course, there is nothing more important than assessing one’s relationship with Allah Most High, as He is the One who has control of our affairs and the only One to change them.

Ensure the following:

1. That you are fulfilling your duties to Allah, particularly your daily prayers.

2. That you are avoiding sins in private and in public.

3. You have a daily reading of Quran each day, ideally with a translation if it is needed.

If possible, try to:

1. Wake up for Tahajjud, even for 10 minutes, pray two cycles of prayer and supplicate to Allah to lighten your burdens and ease your heart.

2. Depending on the causes of your conditions, seek out beginner courses on Islamic studies such as ‘aqidah, fiqh, seerah, and tafsir. It important to learn the religion properly, as knowledge shapes one thoughts and make one’s heart firm in one’s belief in Allah and the knowledge that he is the sole Doer of everything that happens to us.

Supplications

Recite the following supplications after each prayer and at Tahajjud time:


اللّهُـمَّ رَحْمَتَـكَ أَرْجـوفَلا تَكِلـني إِلى نَفْـسي طَـرْفَةَ عَـيْن، وَأَصْلِـحْ لي شَأْنـي كُلَّـه لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أنْـت
O Allah, I hope for Your mercy. Do not leave me to myself even for the blink of an eye. Correct all of my affairs for me. There is none worthy of worship but You.
[Abu Dawud]

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْهَمِّ وَالْحُزْنِ وَالْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَالْبُخْلِ وَالْجُبْنِ وَضَلَعِ الدَّيْنِ وَغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ

O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being overpowered by men. [al Bukhari]

اللَّهُمَّ لَا سَهْلَ إِلَّا مَا جَعَلْتَهُ سَهْلًا ، وَأَنْتَ تَجْعَلُ الْحَزْنَ إِذَا شِئْتَ سَهْلًا
O Allah, there is no ease except in that which You have made easy, and You make the difficulty, if You wish, easy
[Ibn Hibban]

It is reported that Asma’ bint ‘Umays (may Allah be pleased with her) said, ‘The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said to me, “Shall I not teach you some words to say when you feel distressed?
اللهُ اللهُ رَبِّ لا أُشْـرِكُ بِهِ شَيْـئاً
Allah, Allah, my Lord, I do not associate anything with Him
[Abu Dawud]

Action

There are many ways to go about relieving anxiety and stress. I will try to mention the most useful:

Expressing your thoughts:
First, it would be helpful to sit down and get all the thoughts and anxieties expressed outwardly. This is the first step in clarifying what is wrong. Expressing the concerns outwardly distances one from their own thoughts so it is possible to get some perspective on the issues. It also allows one to trace more clearly what is going wrong and what can be done, and to make positive and constructive changes.

One can do this by first writing down all the things that is on one’s mind, in no particular order. Then categorise them into groups e.g. family, work, relationships, personal etc. Then go through each one and try to identify what it is that causes the worry about that particular thing.

Next to it, write down all the possible solutions within your control, including what could be done to simplify the issue. For things out of your control make a separate list and next to these, write down any ideas of people who you can consult regarding the issue for advice, such as parents, close friend, local scholar, or even a therapist.

Once you have done this with all the issues, try to put each in action one by one. Of course it may not be possible to resolve all issues so simply, and the anxieties and paranoia won’t disappear just like that. but it’s a good start and having it all written out means you can refer to it when you feel overwhelmed and remind yourself of the solutions.

Therapies: If the above does not work, it may be useful to seek treatment for a while, as this will again be way to express your thoughts outwardly, and perhaps gain some perspective. Constitutional homeopathy or other holistic therapies should also be very useful, particularly if you suffer from depression and paranoia and natural, valium medication is needed.

Included in therapy is ensuring you are getting adequate exercise and nutrition. You may want to try simple meditation or relaxation techniques (see below for book reference).

Please also seek out the company of good friends, and not spend too much time alone. Joining hobby clubs and other team activity groups may be a good idea, if possible.

Book References

I highly recommend the following books which should help with both understanding anxiety and depression as well as give many practical advice:

1. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, by Dale Carnegie
2. The Complete System of Self-Healing – Internal Exercises, by Dr. Stephen T, Chang

Insha’Allah these two resources will provide ample use to you. May Allah grant you the very best of states and tranquillity of mind and heart.

Warmest salams,

[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Day 23 in a Nutshell – Why Loans Are Better Than Sadaqa, #YourRamadanHub Xtra

If you missed the livestream of the extraordinary short talks by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, you can listen to them in full on the SeekersHub podcast on iTunes. Please subscribe for automatic updates. If you could take a moment to rate the podcast and leave a review, we’d really appreciate it!

In the meantime, we present you with #YourRamadanHub Xtra – the best of the day’s events in a nutshell, with Abdul-Rehman Malik and his guest, Umar Abdulmajeed.

 

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.

What Can I Do to Strengthen and Increase My Faith?

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalam alaikum,

I am very very distressed. I have a lot of doubts concerning my religion but I really don’t want to deal with them at all. I have no interest in leaving Islam and I only want to find again my peace of mind.

What can I do to free myself from these doubts?

Answer: Assalāmu ʿAlaykum,

I hope that you are in the best of health and spirits.

Should I Be Worried because my Faith Is Low?

The desire to remain steadfast in one’s faith is praiseworthy. The Qur’an describes believers as those who are afraid, or hate to return to disbelief. That is why it relates them as supplicating:


رَبَّنا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنا بَعدَ إِذ هَدَيتَنا
Our Lord, do not lead our hearts astray after you have guided us! [Qur’an; 3.8]

It is normal for one’s faith to increase and decrease, depending on a variety of surrounding circumstances. This was recognized early on by Ḥandhala and Abu Bakr – God be pleased with them – companions of the Prophet – peace and blessings of God be upon him. They worried about their potential hypocrisy, because they cannot maintain the level of purity of mind they enjoy in the presence of the Prophet – peace and blessings of God be upon him. He consoled them, saying, “Were you able to maintain the state you are in with me, as well as your remembrance, the angels would openly shake your hands in your bed and when you are about” [Muslim].

Therefore, the fact that one’s internal state ebbs and flows is not the cause for concern. Rather, the important thing is to take the requisite steps that allow one to maintain a sustainable level of faith, as well self-correcting when one starts to slip.

What are the Practical Steps I can take in this Regard?

1. Have a regular daily schedule for reciting to a portion of the Qur’an, even if it is only a few verses. The Qur’an itself promises that reciting it increases faith: “When his verses are recited to them, it increases their faith” [Qur’an; 8.2].

2. Remain constant in your prayers, as prayer is the relationship and connection between a servant and his creator. The Qur’an says, “Seek assistance through patience and prayer; that is difficult except for those who fear” [Qur’an; 2.45].

3. Seek to nurture one’s love of the Prophet – peace and blessings of God be upon him. This is because faith is directly tied to love of the final messenger. He is reported to have said, “None of you truly believe until I am more beloved to him than his parents, children, and all of humanity” [Bukhari, Muslim]. Do this by studying his life and characteristics, and following his noble way.

4. Give regularly in charity, even in small amounts, and especially to causes where you will accrue no foreseeable worldly benefit. Doing so is one of the ways in which a servant demonstrates his trust in God, because they are giving something presently in their hands with the hope that God will recompense them for it later, and that “God will not squander the reward of those who do good” [Qur’an; 12.90].

5. Give thanks to God for the blessings he has bestowed on your life. The Qur’an says, “If you give thanks, I will grant you increase” [Qur’an; 14.7]. The greatest of God’s blessings to be shown gratitude for is faith.

6. Spend time with righteous people, as one’s company affects a person’s internal state. The Prophet – peace and blessings of God be upon him – described this by saying:
The proper comparison of a good and evil companion is to one carrying musk and another working the bellows. If the former does not give you some of it, or you do not buy it from him, at least you might catch a breath of its lovely scent. If the latter does not burn your clothes, you will at least get from him the rancid smell [Bukhari, Muslim].
Do this even if you do not consider yourself at their level, as the point is to spend time with those who will have a positive impact on your state. By the same token, decrease time with people who waste your time or adversely affect your internal state. Imam al-Shāfiʿī – God be pleased with him – recited:
I love the righteous, even though I am not one of them / I hope to acquire through them intercession;
I despise those whose trade is in disobedience / Even though we are the same in terms of wares

7. Pray to God to increase your faith in whatever manner you like. Here is a suggestion:

اللّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ إِيمَاناً يُبَاشِرُ قَلبِي، وَيَقِيناً صَادِقاً حَتَّى أَعلَمُ أَنَّهُ لَا يُصِيبُنِي إِلَّا مَا كَتَبتَ لِي، وَرَضاً بِما قَسَمتَ لي، إِنَّك عَلَى كُلِّ شَيءٍ قَديرٌ

Allāhumma innī asʾaluka iymānan yubāshiru qalbī, wa yaqīnan ṣādiqan ḥattā aʿlamu annahu la yuṣībunī illā mā katabta lī, wa riḍan bimā qasamta lī, innaka ʿalā kulli shayʾin qadīr

Lord, I ask of you faith that envelops my heart; true certitude, such that I realize that whatever befalls me is what you have decreed for me; the satisfaction with what you have apportioned for me; you have power over all things!

Conclusion

These are some suggestions which you can try to implement in your life in a way that is sustainable; however, any course of good action will have this effect, and different people will incline towards different types of good action.
When engaged in this or other good acts, do not pay attention to false misgivings. Live your life in accordance with what you know to be goodness, and rely upon God to grant you the ability to continue to do so.

Please see also: Struggling to Maintain Faith and Practice After Opening the Door to Doubts

God alone grants success.

Shuaib Ally

As a Married Woman, Can I Long For Another Married Man—At Least as a Mate in Paradise?

Answered by Ustadha Umm Umar

Question: I am married to a man that I do not love. I work hard to be a good and faithful wife to him. I love another person, but do not see him and avoid anything that might lead to haram. I am a practising Muslim and spend much of my time doing dhikr, qiyam and fasting. However, I am unhappy in my marriage and in my heart I so wish I was married to the man I love and who loves me.

Is it permissible to make dua and ask Allah to let me marry the man I do love?

Answer: Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

I pray this message reaches you in the best of health and iman.

It would not be permissible for you to long to be the wife of someone else. It may be that the shaytan has not been able to lure you away from your dhikr, qiyam and fasting, but he has found this door from which to toy with your heart and mind, to distract you from a path pleasing to Allah Most High. To get out of this situation, I would advise you to:

(1) cut any ties with the second brother, such that you do not see or speak to him

(2) look at the good of your own husband, learn from his good traits and strive to be more pleasing to him

(3) remember that divorce is of the most hated things to Allah Most High

(4) in making dua, ask for the path and actions of those most pleasing to Allah – don’t ask for what you think is good for you, as ultimately you do not know what is best for you – only Allah Most High knows that, so put your complete trust in Him in what he has destined for you

(5) whenever you think of the second brother, just make dua that Allah the Exalted gives him the highest ranks of Paradise (this will discourage the shaytan from reminding you about him)

Please see also: A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah and: Why Has Allah Allowed Me to Fall in Love With Someone I Can’t Marry?

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to email me anytime insha Allah.

Umm Umar (Shireen Ahmed)

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

My Heart Has Been Broken by a Man But I Can’t Move On. How to Get Over This?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam alaikum,
I have been in a very long relationship with a man. We have been engaged several years. A lot of rumor came to me during this time regarding his bad behaviour with other women and he has became very distant to me. Now I am lost and I don’t know what to do especially since I am very close to his family.
1) Should I go personally meet him and ask for clarifications?
2) If he really doesn’t want me anymore how can I stop thinking about him all the time? My heart is broken.
3)Should I tell his parents that we are no longer together? I love his family.

4) Give me advice on this whole situation. I feel very weak.
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are well. May Allah ease your sorrow. Tests of heartbreak are amongst the hardest trials which we encounter in this dunya. These trials are also one of the swiftest means of attaining closeness to Allah.
In response to your questions:
1) I would advise against meeting him. It is clear from his lack of contact with you that he is no longer interested in marrying you. Although this must be very hurtful for you, trying to see him in person will only worsen your heartache. He may not even want to see you. Save your heart further pain by accepting the Decree of Allah.
2) Every day, read Ayatul Kursi with the intention of asking Allah to lift this tribulation from your heart. Pray Salatul Hajat during the last third of the night and plead with Allah to ease your heartache, and to replace what you lost with something better. You have been involved with this man for a very long time, but have trust that Allah, the Turner of Hearts, can heal your heartbreak. You are a Muslimah, and Allah has honoured you with belief. You are deserving of a faithful and loving Muslim husband who will not have dalliances behind your back or involve you in a pre-marital relationship which drags on for years.
“And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect.” [Quran 30:21]
3) To help you make a decision about whether or not you should stay in contact with his family, perform Salatul Istikhara . In the interest of letting go of your attachment to him, I would strongly suggest that you say goodbye to his family and stop visiting them. Do not allow your heart any seed of hope. Close that door so that you can move forward.
4) All suffering in this world is temporary, even heartbreak which seems unending. Channel your grief into dua and ask Allah to grant contentment with His Decree. Increase in your acts of worship and busy your heart with remembrance of Allah, the One who will never let you down.
I know of many Muslim women who suffered tremendous heartbreak, made their repentance, accepted Allah’s Decree, then shortly after, Allah blessed them with a righteous spouse. I pray that Allah has written a righteous and loving husband for you in this dunya.
“…But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah knows, while you know not.” [Quran 2:216]
Please refer to these links:
Is there a concept of “soulmates” in Islam?
Hearts broken for Allah’s sake
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long
Coping with tragedy
wassalam,
Raidah
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

A BRIEF SELECTION RECOMMENDED FOR SPIRITUAL, PHYSICAL, AND EMOTIONAL WELLBEING

Working as a Muslim Chaplain, I have come to see and experience a genuine need for greater resources for  supplications that bring aid to those in spiritual, physical, and emotional distress. For this reason, I have compiled the verses below and narrations that have been recommended by the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). Since his time (Allah bless him and give him peace), they have been recommended with blessed results by his family, companions, and scholars of the Islamic tradition (may Allah be well-pleased with them all).

For the ease of those in need, I have selected supplications which are comprehensive yet brief to make them easier to memorize and implement. Many of these supplications were found in SeekersGuidance’s Answers database. They are shared here with their permission. I have added to these a few supplications from Imam al-Nawawi’s Gardens of the Righteous (Riyad al-Salihin) as provided on the online hadith resource: Sunnah.com.

Geo Rectangle1.

“My lord, I am in absolute need of the good You send me.” [Qur’an, 28:24]

رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ

Rabbi inni lima anzalta ilayya min khairin faqir

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“O Lord! Grant us good in this life, and good in the next, and save us from the torment of the Fire.” [Qur’an, 2:201]

رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Rabbana atina fi’dunya hasana wa fi’l-akhirati hasana wa qina `adhab an-nar

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When a man got angry in front of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), he told his companions, “I know some words that would make his anger leave, if he said them. They are, ‘I seek refuge in Allah from Satan’.” [Bukhari]

أعوذ بالله من الشيطان

A`udhubillahi min ash-shaytan

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When the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) would be afflicted with a stressful trial, he would say, “O Living and Eternal Maintainer! By Your mercy I seek help!” [Tirmidhi]

يَا حَيُّ يَا قَيُّوْمُ بِرَحْمَتِكَ أَسْتَغِيْث

Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyum! Bi rahmatika astagheeth!

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Shahr ibn Hawshab (Allah be well-pleased with him) said, “I said to Umm Salama, ‘O Mother of the believers! What was the most frequent supplication of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, when he was with you?’ She said, “His most frequent supplication was, ‘O Turner of the hearts, make my heart firm in Your deen!’” [Tirmidhi]

‏يا مقلب القلوب ثبت قلبي على دينك‏

Ya muqallibal-qulubi, thabbit qalbi ‘ala deenika

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The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The supplication of my brother Dhun Nun (Yunus, peace be upon him), who called on Allah while in the whale’s belly: ‘There is no deity but You. Glory be to You! Verily, I have been among the wrongdoers’ (Quran 21:87) – no Muslim person says it, for any situation whatsoever, except that Allah Most High answers his call.” [Tirmidhi]

لا إلهَ إلا أنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ مِنَ الظّالِمِيْنَ

La ilaha illa Anta, Subhanaka, inni kuntu mina z-zalimin

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The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to say, “O Allah, I ask You for guidance, piety, dignified restraint, and freedom from need.” [Muslim]

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْهُدَى وَالتُّقَى وَالْعَفَافَ وَالْغِنَى

Allahumma inni as’aluka’l huda wa’t tuqa wa’l `afafa wa’l ghina

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“O Allah! There is no ease except that which You make easy, and indeed You, when You want, make difficulties easy.” [Ibn Hibban]

اللهُمَّ لا سَهْلَ إلا مَا جَعَلتَهُ سَهْلا وَ أنتَ تَجْعَلُ الحزْنَ إذا شِئْتَ سَهْلا

Allahumma la sahla illa maa ja’altahu sahlan, wa Anta taj’alu l-hazna idha shi’ta sahla

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Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be well-pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Anyone who visits a sick person whose time has not yet come and says seven times in his presence, ‘I ask Allah the Immense, the Lord of the Immense Throne, to heal you,’ Allah will heal him of that illness.” [Abu Dawud; Tirmidhi]

أَسْأَلُ اللَّهَ الْعَظِيمَ رَبَّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ أَنْ يَشْفِيَكَ

As’alullahal-’Azima Rabbal-’Arshil-’Azimi, an yashfiyaka

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‏’Aisha (Allah be well-pleased with her) reported that when the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) visited any ailing member of his family, he would touch the sick person with his right hand and would supplicate: “O Allah! The Lord of mankind! Remove this disease and heal (him or her)! You are the Great Healer! There is no healing but through You; (a healing) which leaves behind no disease.” [Agreed Upon]

اللهم رب الناس، أذهب البأس، واشف، أنت الشافي لا شفاء إلا شفاؤك، شفاءً لا يغادر سقماً

Allahumma Rabban-nasi, adhhibil-ba’sa, washfi, Antash-Shafi, la shifa’a illa shifa’uka, shifaan la yughadiru saqaman

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“O Allah, Your mercy I am hopeful for, so do not leave me to myself for the blink of an eye, and put all my affairs in order, there is no god but You.” [Abu Dawud]

اللَّهُمَّ رَحْمَتَكَ أَرْجُوْ فَلَا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ وَأَصْلِحْ لِي

شَأْنِي كُلِّهِ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ

Allahumma rahmataka arju fala takilni ila nafsi tarfata `aynin wa aslih li sha’ni kullihi la ilaha illa anta

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`Uthman ibn `Affan (Allah be well-pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “No slave of Allah says in the morning every day and the evening every night, ‘In the name of Allah by whose name nothing in the earth or the heaven can be harmed. He is the Hearing, the Knowing,’ three times without that ensuring that nothing will harm him.” [Abu Dawud; Tirmidhi]

بِسْمِ اللهِ الَّذِيْ لا يَضُرُّ مَعَ اسْمِهِ شَيْءٌ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلا فِي الْسَّمَاءِ وَهُوَ السَّمِيْعُ الْعَلِيْمُ

BismiLlahi’lladhi la yadurru ma’asmihi shay’un fi’l-ardi wa la fi’s-sama’i wa huwa’s-Sami’u’l-‘Alim

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Anas (Allah be well-pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to say, “O Allah, I seek refuge in You from weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, anxiety and sorrow, and I seek refuge in You from the torments of the grave, and I seek refuge in You from the trials and tribulations of life and death.” [Bukhari]

اَللّهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْعِجْزِ ، وَالْكَسْلِ، وَالْجُبْنِ ، وَالْهَرَمِ ، وَالْبُخْلِ ، وَأَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ،

وَأَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا وَالْمَمَاتِ

Allahumma inni a`udhu bika min al-`ajzi wal-kasli wal-jubni wal-harami wal-bukhli, wa a`udh bika min adhabi’l qabri, wa a`udhu bika min fitnati’l mahya wal-mamat.

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The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) would say when in distress, “There is no deity but Allah, the Knowing, the Clement. There is no deity but Allah, Lord of the Magnificent Throne. There is no deity but Allah, Lord of the heavens and Lord of the earth and Lord of the Noble Throne.” [Bukhari]

لا إلهَ إلا اللهُ العَليمُ الحَليم لا إلهَ إلا اللهُ ربُّ العَرْشِ العَظِيْم لا إلهَ إلا اللهُ

ربُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَرَبُّ الأَرْضِ ربُّ العَرْشِ الكَرِيْم

La ilaha illa Allahu l-Alimu l-Halim. La ilaha illa Allahu Rabbu l-Arshi l-Azim. La ilaha illa Allahu Rabbu s-samawati wa Rabbu l-ardi wa Rabbu l-Arshi l-Karim.

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Umama (Allah be well-pleased with her) said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, made many supplications which we did not remember at all. We said, ‘Messenger of Allah, you have made many supplications which we do not remember at all.’ He said, ‘Shall I tell something which will contain all of them for you? You should say: “O Allah, I ask You for the good for which Your Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, asked You and I seek refuge from the evil from which Your Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, sought refuge. You are the One who is asked for help and it is only You who can transmit it. There is no power nor strength except by Allah.” [Tirmidhi]

للهم إني أسألك من خير ما سألك منه نبيك محمدٌ، صلى الله عليه وسلم؛ وأعوذ بك من شر ما

استعاذ منه نبيك محمدٌ، صلى الله عليه وسلم، وأنت المستعان، وعليك البلاغ؛ ولا حول ولا قوة إلا

بالله

‘Allahumma inni as’aluka min khairi ma sa’alaka minhu nabiyyuka Muhammadun sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. Wa ‘a’udhu bika min sharri mas-ta’adha minhu nabiyyuka Muhammadun sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. Wa Antal-Musta’anu, wa ‘alaikal-balaghu, wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa bilLah

Ibrahim J. Long received his BA with honors in Humanities and Religious Studies from California State University, Sacramento, and a Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy from Hartford Seminary. Presently, Ibrahim is completing his MA in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations also at the Hartford Seminary.  During his studies, Ibrahim has worked as the first Muslim Chaplain at Choate Rosemary Hall, a prestigious boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut, and as an imam at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution. Ibrahim currently works as a Resident in the Spiritual Care Department at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (Ontario, Canada). There, he provides chaplaincy services and receives supervised training in spiritual care psychotherapy with a dual focus on pastoral counselling (PCE) and clinical pastoral education (CPE).

Ibrahim lives with his wife in Hamilton, Ontario.

Qur’anic Reflections: Divine Tests and the Great Virtue of Steadfast Patience

In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful

Divine Tests and the Great Virtue of Steadfast Patience

 

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Allah Most High tells us in the Qur’an:

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, who, when distress strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return.” Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the truly guided.” [Qur’an, 2.155-157]

It has come in hadith from the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk) that, “Whoever says ‘innaa li’l Llahi wa innaa ilayhi raji`un (We are Allah’s and to Him is our return)’ in distress, Allah will reward them for it and grant them good in exchange.”

It has also come in hadith that once a lamp got extinguished, so the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said “innaa li’l Llahi wa innaa ilayhi raji`un (We are Allah’s and to Him is our return).” A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) remarked, “It is only a lamp!” The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) responded, “Everything that displeases the believer is distress.” [Abu Dawud, in his Marasil]

The Meaning of ‘innaa li’l Llahi wa innaa ilayhi raji`un’ (We are Allah’s and to Him is our return)

It is explained in Tafsir al-Jalalayn that this means:

(We are Allah’s) as His property and servants, and He can do with us as He wills. (And to Him is our return) in the Hereafter, where He will recompense us.

Realization of Slavehood

This is a realization of one’s slavehood (`ubudiyya), that Allah is both one’s Creator and Sustainer; that everything is from Allah; and that one’s responsibility and opportunity is to accept things insofar as they are from Allah, and to turn to Him in both ease and distress in the ways most likely to be most pleasing to Him.

The Meaning of “Give good tidings to the patient”

Patience is to remain firm on what is pleasing to Allah.

Ibn Ajiba states:

(Give good tidings to the patient) namely, those who remain resolute in their seeking. They shall attain unto everything that they long for, and will reach that will they set forth for. They are those when faced by obstacles or impediments realize their neediness as servants of Allah, and attach themselves to the Power of His Lordship. So they return to Allah in all matters. And He thereby grants them shelter from all things. This are the ones who have particular concern from their Lord and those whom He draws close. (And it is those who are truly guided) to close proximity to the Beloved. [Ibn Ajiba, al-Bahr al-Madid]

Shaykh al-Islam Abu Su`ud said in his Qur’anic exegesis,

Patience is not merely uttering this statement of return (“innaa li’llahi…”) with the tongue. Rather, it is to affirm its meaning with the heart (at well), such that one brings to mind what one was created for; that one is returning to their Lord; reminding oneself of Allah’s blessings upon one; and to remember that what remains of these blessings is many times greater than what was lost (in the difficulty). If one does this, then the distress will become easy to bear, and it will return to submission.”

He continues by explaining that the good tidings are what is mentioned after: it is such steadfastly patient individuals are those who are truly guided to all that is correct and true–which is why they surrender, submit, and return to Allah in accepting His Decree (qada’). And it is these people who succeed in attaining their religious and worldly goals, because anyone who attains unto their Allah’s concern, mercy, and blessings will not have missed out on anything worth seeking. [Tafsir Abu’s Su`ud]

Ibn Juzayy states:

A point of benefit: Patience has been mentioned in the Qur’an in more than seventy places, because of the tremendousness of its place in religion. Some of the scholar have said that all good deeds have known reward except for patience, because the reward of patience is beyond measure–because Allah Most High states, “The patient shall be granted their reward beyond measure.”

 

Related Entries:

SG Blog: The Qur’an on Patience, Steadfastness, Resolve, Mindfulness, and Success – 3.200

SG IslamCast: Patience (sabr)–its virtues, reality, and manifestation – Faraz Rabbani – Khutba

Guidance of the Prophet Muhammad on the Virtues of Patience (and Thankfulness) in Tribulation and Hardship

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani